Scroll down to read the fried chicken post. Mmmmmmm....
Click on the pink link.
Meet Vanessa. Vanessa was one of the "Who Are You" finalists and down visiting family in Crosby. We took advantage of her visit to do her photoshoot and I was so excited about this. I know so many of you tuned in to read the stories and you can finally put a face with the name. Vanessa is an artist herself. She is very, very gifted. Check out her blog and her recently launched etsy site and drool over some of her amazing work.
Maybe it's because not too long ago Natalie was a newborn, but I found myself smitten with this mother daughter duo. How lucky am I to get such a teeny tiny baby? Baby Alice is only 2 weeks old and already full of personality. She woke up early in our session and she never went back to sleep. She must have known she was center stage.
I adore newborns. Their hands and nails are so tiny, skin so peely, and hair so unbelievably soft. I love this precious head of hair.
Alice has a beautiful (and tired) mommy who looks radiant despite the lack of sleep. Her makeup was so pretty, clothes so cute, hair perfectly straight. Motherhood looks good on you, Girl.
This next shot is a new try for me. We took it in my bedroom. Note, I don't make it a habit of taking clients to my bedroom, but I envisioned this shot and I love the way it turned out.
Last shot - Mom and Grandmother made her this tiny tutu complete with a brooch, but princess wasn't having it. The proof is in the face....and the finger =) Happy Friday, Folks.
It's that time of year again. Christmas is upon us and in the last week I've received several emails regarding openings in the Fall. I only have a few dates set in stone, but several tentative dates not yet confirmed. Please get back with me when you think you've found a day that works for you so I can put you on the calendar. Also, I will be available for weekday appts. this year, but if you're interested in a Saturday appt, let me know soon as these are usually the first to fill up. In early September, I will be showing you the Christmas card templates for Fall Clients. Summer Clients may choose from the summer templates I showed you several months ago OR pick a template from the new set.
On with the regularly scheduled program...
I know these guys are a lot of work, but I also know that they're worth every bit of it. Fortunately, mom does not travel lite and brought all of the essentials i.e. snacks, sippy cups, lovey, and anything else necessary to keep the peace.
We managed to wrap up our shoot before the rain and I'm so happy we were able to or I wouldn't have had the opportunity to capture this next image.
One day it may not be cool to dress alike, but it sure is working in their favor now.
Boy, my inbox has been hoppin' over the last few days with emails from all over Texas! Way cool to be getting emails from Paris....Paris, TX that is. In the past 7 days, I've received over 2,000 hits on the blog. Obviously, people were reading, relating, and feeling overall inspired by what these 3 brave women had to say. Each candidate received a substantial number of "votes" and I just can't get past their willingness to share a piece of themselves with the world! So, I've decided to give each of these 3 women their own, personal shoot. Honestly, I had every intention of declaring a winner, but judging from the emails I received in response to these essays they're all winners. Each lady will participate in a shoot all her own. Lyndee, Amber, and Vanessa shoot me an email so we can work out the details and THANK YOU so much for inspiring all of us to take a better look inside.
Hey guys! Read all three stories and decide which one you can relate to the most. Please email me with your choice. Thanks!
Who are you, Lyndee?
Who am I? It seems like such an easy question until you really think about it. It used to be so simple to rattle of a million answers to such a question, but all of a sudden, for the first time in my life, I am speechless. Who am I? I don’t even know anymore. To put it simply I am a wife and mother, but over the past 5 years, somewhere in the midst of picking out a wedding cake, buying a house and changing diapers I have forgotten about the woman I used to be. Until a few moments ago I forgot about the perfectly manicured nails I used to have, or the glossy highlights that used to adorn my hair to frame my face. I forgot about the spunky convertible camero I used to drive along the California Coast, I forgot about the quaint beach town I used to live in. I also forgot about how much time I used to spend with friends, and how I would have never let a week, let alone a year go by without calling a girlfriend just to say Hi. I used to be someone who knew where I was going in life with a million unstoppable hopes and dreams, and all of a sudden I’m on auto-pilot: going to work, picking up the kids, buying groceries. If I was on the outside looking in it would seem like I have such a depressing life- a life full of such promise, to only be stopped short by marriage and a family…but it’s not. Although I can’t think of a single thing that I am anymore besides a wife and a mother I realize it’s really all I need as my identity. It makes me whole and completes me. Without realizing it I have traded the late-nights at a bar for early nights to bed. I’ve replaced the wild pictures of me smiling into a camera while dancing on a table for pictures of my children playing in the park. I’ve given up the single lifestyle for a beautiful wedding ring that signifies my husband’s never-ending love for me. I’ve given up wearing a 2-piece bathing suit in public for a couple of stretch marks that I will forever be proud of because they were given to me by my babies.
Instead of me asking myself who I am, for the first time I’m going to stand up tall, hold my head up high and say, THIS IS WHO I AM: I am a wife and mother. Every day that I open my eyes is a day that I have been given to make this day better than the last. What I have realized is that although fun memories make me miss the days of my past, the love in my husband and children’s eyes make me so thankful that my life is what it is. SO who am I? I am the luckiest lady in the entire world.
Who are you, Amber?
When I first heard about this give-away, I thought this was an awesome idea. Only a woman could understand what it would mean to have a moment that was utterly and completely for her, and only her. Then I got to thinking….”I can’t do this . How could I possibly write something about myself ?” I felt I would be thinking too highly of myself to actually write something nice about “me”. This morning while I was getting ready for work, it hit me….For me to write something only about the good that I am would be completely false and misleading, so I decided to put into simple words who I think that I am. The good and the not so good. As women, I think it’s hard to describe ourselves in a few words. In general, I think women are what I consider “situational”. Whether we’ll admit it or not, we tend to adapt to our surroundings. At any given time, we can go from being a gymnast in the living room, to being Ursula the sea witch because something doesn’t go accordingly. So…In my words, this is who I am…..
Blessed, Shy, Loyal, Creative, Anxious, Mommy, Unselfish, Happy, Free-Spirited, Giving, Listener, Proud, Self-Conscience, Independent, Daughter, Content, Lover, Compassionate, Bold, Fat, Dorky, Jealous, Out-going, Friend, Hopeful, Sensual, Hospitable, Confident, Empathetic, Romantic, Funny, Faithful, Sister, Learning, Helpful, Eccentric, Hero, Loved, Worrisome, Silly, Argumentative, Artistic, Wife, Sexy, Sympathetic, Envious, Morose, Complex, Adaptable, Skinny, Easy-going, Thoughtful, Sincere, Human
If you’re anything like me, you know that we all have qualities that we aren’t necessarily proud of, but it is who we are. These are the traits that we work the hardest to improve and they can make us feel like the smallest being on the planet or like the biggest when we over come them. We are real. We are women.
Just a few tidbits...
As people submitted their essays, I came to realize what courage it took to actually put your feelings on paper. Many of you wrote to tell me that you just couldn't bring yourselves to do it. I can understand. It was a big jump and a major challenge. You put yourselves 'out there' by writing something so personal. I am so thankful to those of you that submitted something. Please know that they were so inspiring. I laughed, cried, and felt truly inspired by your reflections. Over the next few days, I will share 3 different stories. Please, carefully read what I'm about to write. I am opening up the comments section for POSITIVE feedback only. The comments section is not for you to tell me who you are voting for. Because this was such a personal assignment, I want to clarify that I don't want people being judged for the persons they perceive themselves to be. On Friday, I will ask you to tell me VIA EMAIL the story that you related to the most. Tell me the story that you most strongly identified with and inspired you.
I strongly encourage you to leave a positive comment when you feel compelled to do so, but remember to send me your vote via email on Friday.
Also, I want to thank my 'third party,' who chooses to remain anonymous for undertaking the task of reading these stories. I wanted to be fair and not be a part of this process, but the person who read these is a highly respected member of the community and I knew I could trust her to make a sound decision and narrow the stories down to 3. Thank you!
Last, I sincerely want to thank all of you that submitted an essay. I'll be perfectly honest and tell you that I attempted to do this assignment myself. I couldn't. I'm entering a transition phase in my life with my decision to not teach and quite honestly I've been a little "lost." I admire your courage, your confidence, and your purpose.
Those of you reading the blog late tonight are getting the first preview. I just couldn't wait until morning to post :)
Who are you, Vanessa?
“Mommy are you Superman?”
This question was posed the other day by my two year old. Some days (days where I get things marked off of my list, my house is clean, and I have a home cooked meal on the table that doesn’t involve a box of pasta and some powdered cheese), I do feel like Superman, but most days, I feel pretty normal. Still, I began to wonder what “powers” I possessed that would warrant such an inquiry. Do I have the ability to fly? No, my gravitational pull seems to slowly increase over time. Am I faster than a speeding bullet? Not even close, I can barely keep up with my toddler. Can I leap over tall buildings in a single bound? Not unless you count those made out of wooden blocks. And none of what I do accomplish in the day can be done without the help of my little stimulant friend called caffeine. I guess you can say that “lack of caffeine” is my Kryptonite.
Since comparing oneself to a super hero isn’t the best for raising self esteem, instead of looking at what I’m lacking in preternatural abilities, I can examine those qualities I do possess that make me…. well….. me.
I am committed. I will be married 8 years this month, and while that is nothing to speak of in comparison to my grandparents, given the circumstances of our story, statistically speaking, my husband and I should have parted ways long before this milestone. I know I’m in for the long haul and look forward to growing old with my best friend, my love.
I am devoted. No one can really prepare you for motherhood and all that it encompasses. Being a stay at home mom, I can truly say that I love my job. While not always glamorous and sometimes very trying, being a mom is incredibly rewarding. I know that my role is ever evolving as my kids grow, and I want to do the best job that I can to nurture my children and prepare them for life, which eventually means, letting them go.
I am creative. Whereas my children are my heart, art is my passion. I love to create, and strive to do so in some form or another each day, whether it is painting an illustration or drawing chalk pictures with my children on the back porch. As long as I am breathing, art will be a part of my life.
I am funny. At least, I think so, and my poor husband has to bear the burden of hearing most of my jokes and witnessing my silly antics. My sense of humor stems from the fact that I love to laugh. And although I might be the only one who laughs at my goofy jokes, I believe that a day having laughed is a good day indeed.
I am growing. It’s not an easy thing for me to step out of my comfort zone, and for a time, I became stagnant. Recently, though, I began to try new things, to put myself out there where normally I would have stayed sheltered. (This little exercise in self assessment was no exception.) It was a BIG step for me, but a much needed one. It has motivated me to keep learning and growing in all aspects of my life.
And finally, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s hard to grasp that in a universe comprised of billions of galaxies, on an earth with more creatures than I can imagine, amongst 6.5 billion people that my God knows the number of hairs on my head. He created me, unique and wonderful, and He loves me more than I can comprehend. This in and of itself is enough to make anyone feel extraordinary.
While there are many more qualities that comprise the person I am these few I have named are core to my being. And although I don’t have supernatural powers or look great in a pair of blue tights (trust me, I’ve worn some), taking the time to consider who I am helped me to realize that I am “super” in my own way.